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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-09-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
27/9/2001 12:57:00 μμ
NATO Defense ministers in support of the USA anti-terrorist campaign Rogge in Athens Papandreou meeting with FYROM President and PM Simitis discusses cutbacks Karamanlis in Brussels Yiannitsis calls for a discussion on the Social Security issue Oil prices drop Memorial service for the victims of "Samina Express" 0,25% drop in the Athens Stock Exchange
 NATO Defense ministers in support of the USA anti-terrorist campaignFollowing an extraordinary meeting held by NATO Defense ministers in Brussels yesterday, the ministers reiterated their full support to the USA s campaign against terrorism. NATO Secretary General George Robertson stressed that the US could rely on the 18 allies for help and support. From his side, the Greek Defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that the globalize form of terrorism today demands the Muslims and Arabs support eor its combat. In the meantime, the situation in Kabul, is out of hand after Afgans set the vacant American Embassy on fire and shouted anti-American slogans. In the USA, the people s fear for a possible fresh terrorist attack with biological and chemical weapons has led the security forces to increase security measures at possible strategic targets. At the same time, the manhunt for the discovery of the terrorists network continues. The Democrat Senator Karl Levine maintained that Osama Bin Laden, who is considered by the US the basic suspect for the 11 September attack, might have had access to Banks all over the world including the United States through the Sudanese Bank Al Shamal Islamic Bank.
Meanwhile, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher spoke of a very close cooperation between Athens and Washington in the struggle against International Terrorism, when called on to comment on Greece s decision to allow the USA to use its air space. He pointed out that Greece is an ally, adding that both countries are cooperating bilaterally and within the framework of NATO. Within the framework of his three-day official visit to Spain the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos met with the Spanish Prime Minister Hose Maria Asnar and appeared certain that serious and wise decisions would be taken in Washington, expressing the hope that no more serious problems would be added. Referring to the 11 September attack against the US, he said that those responsible should be punished, adding that the issue was not a difference between Christians and Muslims. From his side, the Spanish Prime minister supported the allies solidarity to the USA, stating that President George Bush and his associates were dealing with the situation in the right way. Foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou had successive meetings with political party leaders yesterday. He also met with the leader of the Social Democrat Movement Dimitris Tsovolas, Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras and the President of the Liberals Stephanos Manos. Finally, he met with the President of the Greek Diaspora Andrew Athens. Referring to the anti-war demonstration to be staged by the Greek Communist party and other left-wing parties today, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that all legal measures would be taken, adding that the Greek government and people are against terrorism and will cooperate with the International Community so as to combat it.
Additionally, he criticized the anti-American slogans heard in Greek football grounds, pointing out that the slogans could cause a misunderstanding as regards Greece s position on terrorism. Finally, Washington has called on Athens, Ankara and Nicosia to cancel all military exercises programmed to take place in the region of Cyprus. In reply, the government spokesman stated that "Nikiforos Toxotis" military exercise would not be cancelled, verifying however that the American charges d affaires expressed his opinion on the issue. Mr.Reppas stressed that the military exercise lay within the Joint Defense Doctrine and was not against any other country.
 Rogge in AthensInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Jacques Rogge emphasized in Athens on Wednesday that no country can ensure 100 percent safety for the Games, hours after he was received by Greek leadership and briefed on the pace of preparations by Athens Olympic organizing committee (ATHOC). Rogge arrived in Greece, his first visit since taking over from Juan Antonio Samaranch last July, at the head of a high-ranking IOC delegation that also included the Lausanne-based organization s coordinating committee chairman for the Athens Games, Denis Oswald. Speaking at a press conference after a round of meetings, Rogge again stressed that the Salt Lake City Winter Games will take place on schedule next February, while he added that the early September terrorist attacks will not dampen Olympic aficionados interest in coming to Athens in 2004.
As expected, security for the Games and meeting deadlines for certain 2004-related projects dominated talks between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the IOC delegation, whose members also toured various sites and had briefings with Greek organizers, including ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. Mr. Rogge also met with New Democracy party President Costas Karamanlis and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.
 Papandreou meeting with FYROM President and PMForeign minister Yorgos Papandreou discussed with the President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Boris Traikofsky, Prime Minster Liuptsko Georgefski, and NATO Secretary-General George Robertson the political developments in FYROM as well as the beginning of the second phase of the peace plan in the neighboring country.
 Simitis discusses cutbacksThe final details of the Alternative Plan to be incorporated in the 2002 budget were discussed between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and National Economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou. According to the plan cutbacks on expenses will be implemented in ministries, while Social expenses will not be be reduced. In the meantime, the attack on America had an impact on several sectors of the Greek economy. Olympic Airways will cancel certain itineraries as have done other foreign companies.
 Karamanlis in BrusselsNew Democracy President Costas Karamanlis is in Brussels, where he will participate in the Presidential meeting of the European Popular party, during which the latest International developments will be discussed. Yesterday, Mr. Karamanlis met with the Commission s Vice President and Commissioner of Transport Loyiola de Palasio.
 Yiannitsis calls for a discussion on the Social Security issueDuring his address at a meeting organized by the General Confederation of Greek Workers, Labour minister Tasos Yiannitsis called on the Trade Unions to participate ina substantial dialogue on the Social Security issue next month. Mr. Yiannitsis agreed that more funds should be given to the Social Security Funds, adding that the age limits as well as the way pensions would calculated, should be re-examined. From his side, the President of the General Confederation of Greek Workers Christos Polyzogopoulos proposed the creation of three organizations: one for employees, the second one for businessmen and the third one for farmers.
 Oil prices dropFollowing the general downward trend of oil prices, Greece will follow with drops of fuel prices as of today midnight. Unleaded will be sold by 13,7 drachmas less per litre, diesel oil by 11 drachmas and heating oil by 14,7 drachmas.
 Memorial service for the victims of ''Samina Express''A memorial service was held in Ekatopyliani church, Paros yesterday for the 82 people who lost their lives last year when passenger ship Samina Express hit a rocky islet off the port of Paros and sank. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas underlined the State s commitment towards the victims s families for justice to be meted out.
 0,25% drop in the Athens Stock ExchangeSmall losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The General Share Price Index dropped to -0.25% at 2.158,04 points, while the volume of transactions was at 127.51 million Euro or 43.45 billion drachmas. Of the stocks trading today, 128 recorded gains and 194 had losses, while the value of 56 remained stable.